I passed out a copy of the poem, "Fifth Grade Autobiography" by Rita Dove to students and asked them to make a prediction about the poem before reading. They recorded their prediction on their paper set up to analyze the poem using TP-CASTT . If you are unfamiliar with TP-CASTT reading strategy, I've included TP-CASTT power point.
After sharing predictions, students read the poem silently and compared their predictions to what happened in the poem.
Then I asked for a volunteer to read the poem aloud. As the student read the poem aloud, I instructed students to mark the text by circling words or phrases that created images in their minds that assisted in determining the central idea of the poem.
We shared the evidence that created images in their minds and related it to connections that students could make with the poem.
Students independently analyzed the poem “Fifth Grade Autobiography” using TP-CASTT. Since we have used TP-CASTT numerous times as a class - both as a whole class and with a partner - it was time for students to demonstrate their development as critical thinkers to determine the figurative meaning and interaction of poetic devices.
We shared student interpretations of the poem as a whole class. Some of my struggling readers interpreted the poem very literally. By listening to each others interpretations, students observed how others made personal connections to the poem using a completely different setting. Some of the struggling students are still having difficulty with connections unless if they have experienced the exact incidents related in the text. Through discussions, they are becoming aware that segments of the text might trigger a memory - thus a connection with the text.
With a partner, students shared the imagery from the poem that they would definitely include in a picture if they were to draw a picture demonstrating relevant details of the poem.
I felt this closure would encourage struggling readers to consider the description incorporated into the poem and appreciate the imagery. In selecting this poem, I kept the struggling readers in mind because it was visual and many of them interpret poetry literally. It gave the class a chance to discuss the underlying interaction of the poet and her family. These students had an opportunity to take a step in figuratively interpreting the poem, i.e. what feelings might the author have been remembering, etc.